News: US marine helicopter manufacturing proves successful
The US Marine Corps has accepted the UH-1Y transport helicopter for mass production, and will put the first UH-1Ys in service by early 2009.
Tuesday, 26th August 2008
The manufacturer, Bell Helicopters, has a contract to remanufacture AH-1W Super Cobra attack and UH-1N utility helicopters to the AH-1Z and UH-1Y standard. Overall, the remanufactured models will share about 80 percent common parts, including a glass cockpit. The UH-1Y can carry three tons, has a cruise speed of 159 kilometers an hour and the average sortie lasts about 50 minutes.Although the UH/AH-1 airframe design is half a century old, this is another example of how, via rebuilding, a basically sound design can continue to serve for decades. Or, in this case, half a century. The army went on to replace its UH-1s with the UH-60, and the AH-1 (which is a modified UH-1 airframe) with the AH-64.These new designs were superior in many ways, but as dozens of nations have discovered, rebuilt AH-1s and UH-1s can still do the job. Moreover, the marine refurbs contain many of the improvements built into the UH-60s and AH-64s.